Global spirit, local focus

When figuring out a global recruitment process, this is the reaction of HR/Talent in New York when you talk about the French contract:

At home in France, there are plenty of rules when it comes to general HR practices. Here, it seems that processes are less complicated, beginning with the hiring process. I won’t explain all the different rules and legalities because it would be totally indigestible. I think the best way is to explain what I have learned and observed here in New York so far.

In the New York Village, “HR” is organized by speciality: Acquisition, Benefits, and Talent: 21 people for almost 700+ employees.

For Acquisition, it seems to be very similar to our function in France: sourcing, calling, interviews, and offer. Here in the US, an offer letter completes the hiring process, but in France there is a full contract to be signed. I’ve found that we also have the same difficulties when it comes to sourcing candidates in this very competitive industry, and we also use the same tools like LinkedIn and our own personal networks (especially for finding creative roles). I noticed the Acquisition Team for Creative recruited 162 people in 2016!!!

Talent is in charge of the life of the employees in the Village, managing performance reviews, skills training, onboarding, rewards programs and relationships between managers and their teams. Like the Global Talent Team, their job is organized by several projects and initiatives.

I haven’t met Benefits yet; however, I can imagine that this team is in charge of payroll and administrative management.

A few examples of what they do :

  • Progress reviews: These are administered once a year to employees to rate their performance over the past year and define new goals. It is then shared with their manager for comments, feedback and next steps. This year, an updated review was launched by the Global Talent Team, as well as an additional tool called Touchpoints (a simpler form enabling feedback at any point during the year, such as after a project).
  • TalentED: Havas New York’s first training catalog and curriculum, offered to employees of all levels. I had the chance to attend one of their first events, a Leadership Panel where 5 leaders discussed topics like career milestones, tips for managing work-life balance, and how to stay in the know on the best ways to support your work. It was great to see leadership interacting with employees in this way, to understand their questions and concerns.
  • StepUp: An award program in which employees can nominate a coworker who embodies one or more of the Havas values. Once nomination forms are submitted (detailing how the employee exemplifies the Havas values during their work), leadership determines the recipient and recognizes the employee during a monthly all-agency meeting, with a reward of $50!
  • Onboarding: All new employees experience an orientation session on their first day, and also receive a link to their personalized Onboarding Website (developed by the Global Talent Team) with a more in-depth look at how their new role fits within the larger global network — a very important thing to understand considering the many companies/agencies that make up the Havas Group!
  • Wellness: The NY Benefits team hosts several wellness-focused events and workshops throughout the year. Most recently was the Wellness Fair (see below), but they also offer workshops around work/life balance, mindfulness training through a platform called Whil, and more.
  • Recruitment campaigns: NY Talent teams also host job ads on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram.

The biggest difference I’ve noticed for the moment is that the HR function in general feels more free than in France. My office is organized differently, but it does seem that the way we do our jobs and our “HR policies” are very similar — partnering with different people, being agile in the changing industry, oriented around the employee experience, and focusing on skill development. The final purpose being to offer employees a work environment that encourages personal and professional growth.

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